Alpine delivers first in-dash wireless CarPlay receiver you can install yourself

Posted:
in General Discussion
Drivers can now ditch their Lightning cable and use Apple's CarPlay with the new Alpine iLX-107 in-car infotainment system, which is now shipping for aftermarket vehicle installs.




The $900 Alpine iLX-107 is unique because it offers AirPlay over Wi-Fi, a feature that first debuted in iOS 8 back in 2015. Alpine's solution is the first wireless CarPlay product that can be bought separately and installed in a vehicle.

The 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan was the first car to support CarPlay without a Lightning cable, but that required the purchase of a new car and the cost of upgrading to a CarPlay infotainment system. Alpine's newly shipping product means it will be the first opportunity for most CarPlay users to gain wireless support.

The iLX-107 features a 7-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen with LED backlighting. CarPlay can be used to receive calls, access text messages, play music, and get optimized traffic directions.

CarPlay is accessed on the unit through the touch screen or Siri voice controls. It requires an iPhone 5 or later.




AppleInsider first went hands-on with the iLX-107 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. At the time, representatives from Alpine said there is no discernible drain on battery when using CarPlay wirelessly over Wi-Fi.

The Alpine iLX-107 receiver uses Bluetooth as a trigger to change over to 5GHz Wi-Fi direct for CarPlay. Call audio is routed over Wi-Fi as well.

Alpine has also updated its menus and system displays to match Apple's interface. For example, the onscreen volume display mimics Apple's own volume controls shown on screen in iOS.

The iLX-107 also controls add-on car accessories such as lights, cameras, truck bed covers, and more.

"Apple fans have been eagerly anticipating a wireless Apple CarPlay solution, so we are excited to deliver the iLX-107 as the first aftermarket system with this technology," said Steve Crawford, vice president and general manager, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,915member
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    BittySonBittySon Posts: 32member
    If the phone is connected to the unit's wifi, which is not connected to the internet, how will the phone then connect to the internet since wifi takes priority over cellular?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 40
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 831member
    BittySon said:
    If the phone is connected to the unit's wifi, which is not connected to the internet, how will the phone then connect to the internet since wifi takes priority over cellular?
    Magic, duh!
    lkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 40
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 737editor
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    Photo was taken at CES in January, so it was beta. Presumably the shipping product addresses that.
    cornchipbb-15
  • Reply 5 of 40
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 737editor
    BittySon said:
    If the phone is connected to the unit's wifi, which is not connected to the internet, how will the phone then connect to the internet since wifi takes priority over cellular?
    I've used many devices that rely on Wi-Fi direct, including drones and cameras, and they still access the internet fine. iOS knows the difference.
    longpathwaverboycornchipbb-15watto_cobrabrian greenindyfx
  • Reply 6 of 40
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 331member
    Wi-Fi Assist is able to route traffic via cellular signal when Wi-Fi has no connectivity to the Internet. It's really pretty simple to implement. One way to do this is to ping an Apple server on the Internet via Wi-Fi. If the server is not reachable, route to the Internet via cellular. This way, both Wi-Fi and cellular can be connected. Wi-Fi could be used for communicating with the Wi-Fi direct device, and cellular can be used for communicating with the Internet.
    longpathwaverboybb-15watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    BittySonBittySon Posts: 32member
    sirozha said:
    Wi-Fi Assist is able to route traffic via cellular signal when Wi-Fi has no connectivity to the Internet. It's really pretty simple to implement. One way to do this is to ping an Apple server on the Internet via Wi-Fi. If the server is not reachable, route to the Internet via cellular. This way, both Wi-Fi and cellular can be connected. Wi-Fi could be used for communicating with the Wi-Fi direct device, and cellular can be used for communicating with the Internet.
    Thanks, I think that is the answer, since iOS doesn't support Wifi Direct.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,280member
    nhughes said:
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    Photo was taken at CES in January, so it was beta. Presumably the shipping product addresses that.
    That "text" has been applied over the top of the photo.
    longpath
  • Reply 9 of 40
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 573editor
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    I photographed a beta unit in January at CES. This is one of my photos. I did not edit the photos to add text, so I can't be sure where that came from. 

    We're on the list to get a review, and will be able to photograph the volume control on a production unit.
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 737editor
    evilution said:
    nhughes said:
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    Photo was taken at CES in January, so it was beta. Presumably the shipping product addresses that.
    That "text" has been applied over the top of the photo.
    Considering Victor texted me that picture from his phone and I uploaded it, I don't think the text was added over the photo. I think it's just a bug in the software.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    uroshnoruroshnor Posts: 64member
    BittySon said:
    sirozha said:
    Wi-Fi Assist is able to route traffic via cellular signal when Wi-Fi has no connectivity to the Internet. It's really pretty simple to implement. One way to do this is to ping an Apple server on the Internet via Wi-Fi. If the server is not reachable, route to the Internet via cellular. This way, both Wi-Fi and cellular can be connected. Wi-Fi could be used for communicating with the Wi-Fi direct device, and cellular can be used for communicating with the Internet.
    Thanks, I think that is the answer, since iOS doesn't support Wifi Direct.
    There is one other thing it might be - iOS supports an ad hoc peer-peer connection in the 5 GHz band - it's what it uses for Airplay when it is not connected to an infrastructure wi-fi network (also used for AirDrop, GameKit and a few other things - they call it AWDL - Apple Wireless Direct Link)

    Carplay is basically a variation on Airplay , so it might be AWDL. 

    Its conceptially similar to some aspects of Wi-fi Direct, but different in detail
    watto_cobragregoriusm
  • Reply 12 of 40
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 794member
    vmarks said:
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    I photographed a beta unit in January at CES. This is one of my photos. I did not edit the photos to add text, so I can't be sure where that came from. 

    We're on the list to get a review, and will be able to photograph the volume control on a production unit.
    Now we are going to see the hoax/conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork... like with the Apollo moon photos: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Examination_of_Apollo_Moon_photographs
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,836member
    BittySon said:
    If the phone is connected to the unit's wifi, which is not connected to the internet, how will the phone then connect to the internet since wifi takes priority over cellular?
    The phone connects to both simultaneously when in CarPlay mode. I've been using CarPlay for a while and let me tell you: $900 ain't worth. I don't even think it'd even worth at $300 as BMW charges the customers. The app is so limited and only certain apps to be on the car display. I prefer BMW Screen Mirror over the CarPlay if it should work with iOS devices.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    big kcbig kc Posts: 90member
    $900? They're smoking crack. It's at least 2x more expensive than it should be (or likely needs to be), and still lacks a volume knob, which is a huge annoyance. Somebody needs to come out with a similar unit, mechless (no CD transport) for simplicity and mounting ease (unit can be very shallow w/o the transport), at $450. With a freakin volume knob. They'd sell like hotcakes. Alpine won't sell many of these at this crazy price.
    xamaxgregoriusm
  • Reply 15 of 40
    macguimacgui Posts: 769member
    Alpine has always charged more to 'too much' for its kit. Once there's more competition for a DIY head unit, Alpine will probably drop it's prices significantly. Bleeding edge costs money.

    But I don't think Car Play as yet, adds enough to command premium pricing. I wonder what it goes for in mid-range domestic vehicles.
    gatorguyGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 40
    seanie248seanie248 Posts: 172member
    nhughes said:
    evilution said:
    nhughes said:
    what is the text “Text” to the right of the volume number?
    Photo was taken at CES in January, so it was beta. Presumably the shipping product addresses that.
    That "text" has been applied over the top of the photo.
    Considering Victor texted me that picture from his phone and I uploaded it, I don't think the text was added over the photo. I think it's just a bug in the software.
    The text doesn't look like its part of the interface, looks like it was added to the photo. Blame Victor :)
    Soli
  • Reply 17 of 40
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 331member
    big kc said:
    $900? They're smoking crack. It's at least 2x more expensive than it should be (or likely needs to be), and still lacks a volume knob, which is a huge annoyance. Somebody needs to come out with a similar unit, mechless (no CD transport) for simplicity and mounting ease (unit can be very shallow w/o the transport), at $450. With a freakin volume knob. They'd sell like hotcakes. Alpine won't sell many of these at this crazy price.
    You can control CarPlay units via the steering wheel control, so the volume can be adjusted by the driver on the steering wheel.

    CarPlay may not be worth $900, but Android Auto absolutely is. I have a 2006 Lexus GS300 that has a horrible head unit. It's just bad. The audio system is very good (Mark Levinson), but the head unit is a disaster. I have been suffering with this head unit ever since I bought the car (used) 8 years ago. I would love to get a great head unit for Android Auto (CarPlay) and keep the car for another 8 years. The car is great, but the lack of smartphone integration and the horrible head unit makes me want to get rid of it. If I could spend $1000 to have the infotainment modernized in this car, I would gladly pay it. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this because it's too deeply integrated with the car's climate controls. 

    For folks in my boat with older cars, these $1000 head units that support Android Auto and Car Play (especially wireless ones), are a steal. It's much much cheaper than trading this car for a new one. 
    bb-15gregoriusmGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 18 of 40
    xamaxxamax Posts: 121member
    How is this better than having your iPhone do it? I mean, I have a really dumb really simple Sony car radio with a USB. I get in the car, place my iPhone in its stand, connect it to the radio via USB but I could simply use Bluetooth for wireless and I can have my own paid for Sygic GPS App that's better than Apple's or Google Maps Apps. Can do anything.

    This Sony radio was €80 many years ago, if any I can buy better for cheaper. Even if I purchased an used iPhone 6 Plus just for this task, I would still spend half as much. And I could tuck it in safe in the glove compartment or wherever out of sight.

    Cos would I instal this only to see my car broken into?! I mean, I don't even leave the €80 unit faceplate on - because broken windows and such are much more expensive than that.

    Seriously, Alpine & Co better reinvent themselves and fast! This is not the way neither it is to come up with overpriced gear upfront, that's not how you win market share. It's like these companies don't put their brains much into what they do. And that's the Apple difference, I must say... So no, Alpine, no!
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 19 of 40
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,506member
    I truly wish there was greater standard functionality built into CarPlay. At least, weather, emails (Siri can draft and send an email, though), calendar, ability to store/access notes, Clock, and a wider range of useful apps (e.g., Waze, White/Yellow Pages, iExit to name some obvious ones; perhaps TripAdvisor, GasBuddy).

    I feel like it's currently quite underdeveloped, and hasn't had a great deal of functionality enhancement since its intro, nor much interest from developers (the apps currently available are few and mostly half-assed). It's almost like it's been orphaned since all the hoo-haa at its intro.

    As an aside, 3D Maps just does not work (at least in the Audi implementation of it).
  • Reply 20 of 40
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 573editor
    big kc said:
    $900? They're smoking crack. It's at least 2x more expensive than it should be (or likely needs to be), and still lacks a volume knob, which is a huge annoyance. Somebody needs to come out with a similar unit, mechless (no CD transport) for simplicity and mounting ease (unit can be very shallow w/o the transport), at $450. With a freakin volume knob. They'd sell like hotcakes. Alpine won't sell many of these at this crazy price.
    When you add a volume knob, it takes up space. You have to shrink the screen size to make room for the knob. One thing we know is that consumers like as large a screen as they can buy, so it doesn't make sense to add a knob. You end up with a 6.2" screen instead of a 7".

    Furthermore, all of the flagship devices launched at the 900 or 1000 price range. Kenwood eXcelon DDX9902S launched at $950. The Pioneer 8100NEX was $1400. The 4100NEX was $700. Pioneer and Kenwood have removable screen faceplates. Alpine's 007 model from a few years ago did not. We'll know more when we have the new ilx-107 in for review. I do like CarPlay quite a lot, enough that I've got it in two cars.

    There are plenty of models without CD transport. Look at SPH-DA120 from a few years ago. It's still supported, still sold, has no CD transport, and is very shallow. 

    If you want the volume knob, Kenwood Excelon DDX6902S is your model. It's $379, has DVD, and a volume knob. Sony XAV-AX100 would also get you the knob and is about $389. 

    Mostly, I'd just use the steering wheel controls. 
    bb-15gregoriusm
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